God has a grace-empowered HOPE and JOY for us live in and to ABIDE IN, that is not based on our present circumstances. As believers in Jesus, we can STAY in His joy and hope, because God is so awesome and worthy to be worshiped, at all times.
This post shares some great links.
HOPE . . . even from prison:
Anybody can be happy when things are going great, but being truly joyful in the midst of tough times will keep everybody scratching their heads with wonder.
The Bible tells us in Philippians to “Rejoice in the Lord at all times, and again I say, rejoice!” (and He wrote that from prison!)
The theme is “Rejoice in the Lord at all times, and again I say rejoice!” Philippians 4:4.
HOPE . . . even during hard times on the mission field:
The world is watching us. How we handle challenging situations will often be the greatest mark of our Christian testimony. So much depends on our perspective. In our family, we’ve faced huge hardships on the mission field, financial needs way beyond our means (especially with all the orphan children), the passing away of fellow missionaries, and life-threatening diseases like malaria. But through it all, God has allowed us to STAY in His peace and hope.
“His praise,” the Bible says, “shall continually be in my mouth!”
HOPE . . . even during a house fire:
One time, back in 1991, our home and nearly 100% of our belongings were destroyed by a big house fire (which was accidentally caused by our 5-year-old son, who had been playing with a lighter). We were thankful for God’s protection over our family, and chose to gather with dear friends to worship and sing. We didn’t know how the story would turn out. We didn’t know if our insurance would cover anything. So do you know what we did? We figured that if the enemy (the devil) was trying to steal, kill, and destroy our family. In prayer, we wondered what the enemy would “least” want us to do . . . and we decided to go on a mission trip as fast as we could to where the harvest of souls was most ripe.
A pastor friend was about to lead a mission trip into the just-opened Soviet Union, and we made the decision to join that trip and to help. Even before we had permission to clean up the sooty mess . . . and even before we knew if our insurance would cover anything, we headed to St. Petersburg, Russia, and participating in serving at an amazing Gospel outreach. We helped distributed tens of thousands of Bibles, which had been previously confiscated by the Soviet government. The time was amazing. In a large stadium, as the Gospel message was presented to a people who had been prohibited from hearing it for many years, there was practically a stampede as people came forward in the altar calls. The spiritual hunger was incredible. The perspective gave us such a peace, knowing that God was in control, even concerning our home.
No matter what, we can choose to live in HOPE and JOY.
Be Encouraged, Daring Daughters. God is with you.
Daring Daughters, let’s remember that heaven is our home, not this world. Let’s keep God’s eternal perspective and remember to pray for God’s kingdom to COME in our lives here on earth. When the enemy comes in, let’s not just roll over and despair. Instead, let’s walk in faith and hope and joy!
Be encouraged, and no matter what, remember to “stay” in that place of God’s peace, hope, grace . . . and JOY!
Blessings to you!